CDS 270-2, Spring 2006

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Citlogo.png Networked Control Systems Cdslogo.png
Spring 2006
  • Graduate instructors: Vijay Gupta, Zhipu Jin, Ling Shi, Demetri Spanos
  • Lectures: MWF 2-3 pm, 125 Steele

Course Schedule

Week Date Topic Reading
1 Introduction to Networked Control Systems (R. Murray)
27 Mar (M) Course overview, applications and administration Syllabus; NCS06, Ch 1
29 Mar (W) Case study: Alice Cremean et al, 2005
Networked embedded systems programming (R. Murray)
31 Mar (F) Message transfer systems: spread NCS06, Ch 2; Lamport, 1978
2 3 Apr (M) Multi-threaded control systems: pthreads NCS06, Ch 2; Pthreads
5 Apr (W) Alice: adrive, astate, trajFollower NCS06, App A; GCwiki
7 Apr* (F) No class
3 Real-time trajectory generation and receding horizon control (R. Murray)
10 Apr (M) Real-time trajectory generation NCS06, Ch 3
12 Apr* (W) Receding horizon control (T. Keviczky) NCS06, Ch 3
14 Apr (F) Alice: plannerModule NCS06, App A; Kogan, 2005
4 State estimation (H. Sandberg)
17 Apr (M) Kalman filtering NCS06, Ch 4; Welch and Bishop
19 Apr (W) Moving horizon estimation NCS06, Ch 4
21 Apr (F) Alice: roadFollowing (L. Cremean) NCS06, App A
5 Packet-based estimation and control, I (B. Sinopoli)
24 Apr (M) Packet-based estimation NCS06, Ch 5
26 Apr (W) Packet-based Control: the TCP case NCS06, Ch 5
28 Apr (F) Packet-based Control: the UDP case NCS06, Ch 5
6 Packet-based estimation and control, II (L. Shi, Y. Mostofi)
1 May (M) Packet-based Control with Norm Bounded Uncertainties NCS06, Ch 6
3 May (W) Impact of Communication Noise on Estimation over Wireless Links NCS06, Ch 6
5 May (F) Optimum Receiver Design for Estimation over Wireless Links NCS06, Ch 6
7 Distributed estimation and control (V. Gupta)
8 May* (M) Distributed Estimation NCS06, Ch 7
10 May* (W) Introduction to Distributed Control NCS06, Ch 7
12 May (F) Estimation and Control in Networked Systems NCS06, Ch 7
8 Cooperative control of multi-agent systems (Z. Jin, T. Keviczky)
15 May (M) Consensus Problem and Algorithms NCS06, Ch 8
17 May* (W) Cooperative and Coordinated Control Scheme for Multi-Agent Systems NCS06, Ch 8
19 May (F) Distributed Receding Horizon Control NCS06, Ch 8
9 Project Presentations (All)
22 May (M) No class
24 May (W) Project presentations
26 May (F) Project presentations

Course Description

Increases in fast and inexpensive computing and communications have enabled a new generation information-rich control systems that rely on multi-threaded networked execution, distributed optimization, adaptation and learning, and contingency management in increasingly sophisticated ways. This course will describe a framework for building such systems and lay out some of the challenges to control theory that must be addressed to enable systematic design and analysis. Two examples will be used to illustrate the results and to serve as testbeds for course projects: Alice, an autonomous vehicle that competed in the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge and RoboFlag, a robotic version of capture the flag. Key features of these systems include highly sensory-driven, information rich feedback systems, higher levels of decision making for goal and contingency management, and multi-threaded, networked control architectures.

Course Administration

This course is a special topics course in which advanced students will prepare and present much of the lecture material. There is no required homework and no midterm or final exam. Course grades will be based on a course project.

Course Project

All students in the course will demonstrate their knowledge of the material by analyzing or implementing a networked control system algorithm. Two testbeds are available for use by the class:

  • Alice - Alice is an autonomous vehicle that was built by Caltech undergraduates to compete in the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge. It is fully equipped with multiple terrain sensing cameras and LADARS, two GPS units and an inertial measurement unit (IMU) for measuring position and orientation, and 10 CPUs of computing horsepower inteconnected by a 1 Gb/s ethernet network. A module software architecture allows new functionality to be implemented and tested with relative ease. Requires knowledge of C/C++ programming under linux.

  • RoboFlag - RoboFlag is a robotic version of capture the flag in which teams of 6-8 robots with 1-2 humans compete against a like team. A high fidelity simulator is available that allow full simulation of the dynamics, sensing and communications subsystems, providing realistic operation. Features include limited bitrate communication channels, limited sensor range for detecting opposing robots, and a graphical user interface for human-in-the-loop operation. Required knowlege of C/C++ program under Windows.

Project ideas (will be expanded during the term)

  • Benchmark the performance of different messaging protocols (eg, broadcast, UDP, TCP) for communicating the state and terrain data on Alice
  • Implement and analyze the effect of "shock absobers" (control buffers, state estimators) on RoboFlag
  • Implement state estimation and/or multi-description coding on Alice to handle lost packets of terrain data